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N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic #2920782 12/07/19 09:06 PM
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David B Offline OP
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I have access to two Kawai acoustic pianos that I occasionally play. Owning an N1X for 9 months now has helped me to transition between digital and acoustic pianos pretty effortlessly. Not something I could do comfortably before I had the N1X.

One Kawai acoustic piano is a 5 foot grand the that doesn't have a pleasing tone to my ear and an action that doesn't feel smooth like my N1X. I would rather own my N1X than the 5 foot Kawai acoustic.

The other Kawai acoustic is a 7 foot grand that sounds beautiful and has a wonderfully smooth action. I mentioned in another thread that I'd rather have the 7' foot Kawai grand than my N1X.

However, I was playing the 7' Kawai grand today and I realized that even though it has gorgeous sound and plays beautifully, I think I'd still rather have my N1X. Here are the reasons why.

1. A 7' foot grand is loud. Forget about playing at night when my family is sleeping or doing anything else that requires peace and quiet.
2. It's got a pretty big footprint. If you don't have sufficient space it's not really going to work. I would have to keep it in my basement.
3. I would lose the ease of recording and experimenting with different VSTs. Although, that is somewhat mitigated by the beautifully full and rich sound of the acoustic.
4. I'm not sure I'm ready for the commitment of regular tuning and regulation that's necessary with an acoustic. I'd probably end up learning as much as I can to see if I could do it myself. At least the tuning part.

Bottom line:

At this time the N1X really fits my lifestyle. It doesn't compare to a good acoustic in tone and resonance, (not even with the best VSTs), but it has enough advantages to create a pleasingly authentic acoustic experience while maintaining all the advantages of a digital.

Here are a couple songs I recorded today on the 7' Kawai grand. It was recorded with the mic on my iPhone 6 so it clearly doesn't begin to capture the fullness of this beautiful acoustic. Both songs were arranged by me.



God Bless,
David


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Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2920822 12/08/19 01:03 AM
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I can understand your experience.
Just wait for next 5yrs, and maybe Kawai Grand Aures will be released.
Actually, both Y/K have ability to modify or retrofit any model of their upright&grand AP to hybrid ADP.


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Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2920830 12/08/19 01:42 AM
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Why not keep both, best of both worlds.

When it comes to regulating and especially tuning ,some things are better left to professionals.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2920835 12/08/19 02:02 AM
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Sounds awesome, thanks for sharing. The acoustic really seems to pack an emotional punch.

Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2920853 12/08/19 04:21 AM
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That Kawai sounds great indeed. My experience is also that the N1X is a good match for small grands. It’s only when you try medium sized, well regulated/tuned grands that the acoustic shows it’s the boss. But then it takes place, needs tuning and can bother people.


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Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: CyberGene] #2920869 12/08/19 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by robinlb
I can understand your experience.
Just wait for next 5yrs, and maybe Kawai Grand Aures will be released.


That would be cool. Unfortunately, it would probably take me more than 10 years to save up enough money to afford one. frown

Originally Posted by Learux

When it comes to regulating and especially tuning ,some things are better left to professionals.


That's hard for me to do. I hate paying someone to do something if there is a reasonable possibility for me to learn how to do it for free.

Originally Posted by navindra
Sounds awesome, thanks for sharing. The acoustic really seems to pack an emotional punch.


Yes, it does. I'm tempted to take a couple condenser mics, my laptop, and the 2i4 down there to try and capture the warmth and power this piano has. It's sounds very tinny with the iPhone mic. It does not do this piano justice.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
My experience is also that the N1X is a good match for small grands...


I noticed that even when I purchased my N1X. The dealership had some low-end baby grands and after playing one I remember thinking that I would not feel good about buying it. The N1X holds its own until you start moving up in size and quality.

God Bless,
David





Last edited by David B; 12/08/19 05:16 AM.

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Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2920971 12/08/19 01:38 PM
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The timing of this post is interesting I only owned digital piano keyboards , and I’m wishing how I can get an upright in my home Bc digital don’t feel expressive ..
Though 3 years ago when I tried uprights in a store my observations were similar to yours ... I enjoyed n1 upright digital hybrid more ... I feel it may not be now the case now


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Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2920977 12/08/19 01:51 PM
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I didn't know that Kawai manufactured a seven-inch acoustic piano. smile

Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: MacMacMac] #2920984 12/08/19 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I didn't know that Kawai manufactured a seven-inch acoustic piano. smile



Casualty of the very short editing window.


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Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2921138 12/09/19 03:16 AM
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David B,

A very good friend of mine has been a piano technician since the 1960's and now, in his 80's, he's still tuning pianos 5-6 days a week. During my college years, he paid me to help him work on pianos - re-string, soundboard repairs, refinish... I also learned to tune pianos but after doing that every single day for a year, I gave up. If you ever try to tune a 12-string guitar, you'd know it's not easy (otherwise there wouldn't be so many guitarists playing out of tune!). There are 230 strings in a piano and even if you use a very expensive strobe tuner to get every string in tune; after your done, the whole thing will sound terrible because the bass notes need to be way flat and the treble notes need to be way sharp (stretched tuning). There are many steps and techniques which I won't go into but I can tell you that after a year of tuning my piano every day, I finally asked him to tune it for me then gave him all my tuning tools - tuning fork, tuning hammer, felt strips... I can honestly say I tried my best. He said my problem was I was a perfectionist and could hear every little flaw in my work so I kept going back to try try to get it perfect... The problem is, after an hour of pounding (and you have to pound hard) on each note over and over, you're ears are really finished! You may have a much better experience but I can tell you that after that year, I never complained about paying to get my piano tunes again!

I've been eyeing a beautiful Kawai GS-60 7' grand myself because I haven't been fully happy with any digital or hybrid but still I remember how miserable I was every time the humidity went up or down and the piano would be out of tune, about the humidifier and dehumidifier... Of course an older piano stays in tune better than a brand new one but like a car, an acoustic piano will require regular maintenance.

Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2921139 12/09/19 03:19 AM
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If I end up buying the 7' Kawai grand, I will still have my MP11se in the same room, probably right next to it anyway.

Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: djvu10] #2921145 12/09/19 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
David B,
There are 230 strings in a piano and even if you use a very expensive strobe tuner to get every string in tune; after your done, the whole thing will sound terrible because the bass notes need to be way flat and the treble notes need to be way sharp (stretched tuning).


I do have a strobe tuner that I've used to adjust the intonation on my electric guitar. I'm not sure if it would work for the piano though.

Quote
There are many steps and techniques which I won't go into


I think I might find it interesting to learn the process if I actually did own an acoustic and wanted to tune it myself.

Quote
...but I can tell you that after a year of tuning my piano every day, I finally asked him to tune it for me then gave him all my tuning tools - tuning fork, tuning hammer, felt strips... I can honestly say I tried my best. He said my problem was I was a perfectionist and could hear every little flaw in my work so I kept going back to try try to get it perfect...


I'm a perfectionist too, but I don't think I have a very good ear so I might not have the same problem you did.

Quote
I've been eyeing a beautiful Kawai GS-60 7' grand myself because I haven't been fully happy with any digital or hybrid but still I remember how miserable I was every time the humidity went up or down and the piano would be out of tune... an acoustic piano will require regular maintenance.


Yeah, even if I could afford an acoustic the maintenance would be a bit of a deterrent (unless I could learn how to tune a piano).

God Bless,
David


Yamaha AdvantGrand N1X
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-44 Completed
Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2921179 12/09/19 07:19 AM
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Hi David,

I just wanted to share with you the frustration I went through learning to tune pianos and absolutely didn't mean to imply that you couldn't do it smile I think it would be awesome if you could!!!

One thing about learning to tune on our own "living room" piano... you and your family may have to live with a slightly to terribly out-of-tune piano for a while; in my case... a year smile

The Kawai GS-60 I looked at is a $65k 7' grand in great condition. The guy is moving to Hawai and is asking $7800, which is less than the price of a N1X. I talked to the person who's been tuning this piano for years and he said it's barely off after one year of everyday playing so my justification is: I can pay for tuning for many years before I reach the cost of a N3X smile

You seem very passionate about playing; it would be awesome if you could get something like this GS-60 if you have the room for it. Just set $10 aside a day for tuning if you don't feel like doing it yourself smile

Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: djvu10] #2921245 12/09/19 11:06 AM
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David B Offline OP
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Originally Posted by djvu10
The Kawai GS-60 I looked at is a $65k 7' grand in great condition. The guy is moving to Hawai and is asking $7800, which is less than the price of a N1X. I talked to the person who's been tuning this piano for years and he said it's barely off after one year of everyday playing so my justification is: I can pay for tuning for many years before I reach the cost of a N3X smile


That sounds like a great deal.

Quote
You seem very passionate about playing; it would be awesome if you could get something like this GS-60 if you have the room for it.


Unfortunately, the house I currently live in does not have a "great room" that could accommodate a 7' grand.

Quote
Just set $10 aside a day for tuning if you don't feel like doing it yourself smile


How many days would it take? I've never inquired what the cost for tuning is.

God bless,
David


Yamaha AdvantGrand N1X
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
Duane Shinn 52 Week Crash Course; Lessons 1-44 Completed
Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2921248 12/09/19 11:11 AM
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I have heard several stories about people trying to learn how to tune a piano. None of them were successful.

For the $150/year, I am glad to let a professional handle it.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: Learux] #2921252 12/09/19 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Learux
I have heard several stories about people trying to learn how to tune a piano. None of them were successful.

For the $150/year, I am glad to let a professional handle it.


That's not an unreasonable price. .41 cents a day, 2.88 a week, or 12.50 a month.

God Bless,
David


Yamaha AdvantGrand N1X
Mac mini 2018/Focusrite Scarlett 2i4/KRK Rokit 6 G3 Studio Monitors
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Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2921262 12/09/19 11:41 AM
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Paying for tuning is often about finances...but it's sometimes about priorities too.

I know a person who can afford a country club membership for his whole family but hasn't tuned his piano (that his kids practice on daily) for 10 years because "tuning is EXPENSIVE!" according to that person.

Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: David B] #2921279 12/09/19 12:53 PM
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I pay $150 a month for cable TV ... because my wife simply must have TV. If it were up to me I wouldn't even own a TV set.

So $150 twice a year for a piano tuning is peanuts. And far more worthwhile.

TV makes you stupid. The piano does not.

Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: djvu10] #2921293 12/09/19 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
David B,

A very good friend of mine has been a piano technician since the 1960's and now, in his 80's, he's still tuning pianos 5-6 days a week. During my college years, he paid me to help him work on pianos - re-string, soundboard repairs, refinish... I also learned to tune pianos but after doing that every single day for a year, I gave up. If you ever try to tune a 12-string guitar, you'd know it's not easy (otherwise there wouldn't be so many guitarists playing out of tune!). There are 230 strings in a piano and even if you use a very expensive strobe tuner to get every string in tune; after your done, the whole thing will sound terrible because the bass notes need to be way flat and the treble notes need to be way sharp (stretched tuning). There are many steps and techniques which I won't go into but I can tell you that after a year of tuning my piano every day, I finally asked him to tune it for me then gave him all my tuning tools - tuning fork, tuning hammer, felt strips... I can honestly say I tried my best. He said my problem was I was a perfectionist and could hear every little flaw in my work so I kept going back to try try to get it perfect... The problem is, after an hour of pounding (and you have to pound hard) on each note over and over, you're ears are really finished! You may have a much better experience but I can tell you that after that year, I never complained about paying to get my piano tunes again!

I've been eyeing a beautiful Kawai GS-60 7' grand myself because I haven't been fully happy with any digital or hybrid but still I remember how miserable I was every time the humidity went up or down and the piano would be out of tune, about the humidifier and dehumidifier... Of course an older piano stays in tune better than a brand new one but like a car, an acoustic piano will require regular maintenance.


How often did you have to tune it , if done professionally ,and how many hours do you play per week?

my worst fear is if end up buying a acoustic in the future, and it does not hold its tune, even if tuned professionally


Yamaha P155, Yamaha P515
Re: N1X vs 7" Kawai Acoustic [Re: MacMacMac] #2921321 12/09/19 02:34 PM
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David B Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

TV makes you stupid. The piano does not.


LOL! That's a great quote. smile

It belongs in a signature line.

God Bless,
David


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